We all play our own mind movie – almost all of the time. It is a useful function of the brain, yet it is the source of much confusion and unhappiness. Learning to pause the movie to see things more as they are could make us more aware of the beauty that surrounds us.
The mind has a tremendous ability to imagine how the future could pan out. This is an excellent faculty to have to plan a trip or to make a meal. However, I believe that it becomes problematic as soon as we use it on a psychological level. When we are in touch with ‘what is’ without judging it with the yardstick of ‘what could’ or ‘what should be,’ then we are likely to be much more appreciative and alert to what unfolds in front of our naked eyes.
A growing number of people, believe in the power of imagination and visualisation to improve their performances and to realise their goals. It is a way of becoming more active with our mind movie. In my experience, the more time we spend dreaming about what we could be or could do, the more ineffective and discouraged we become with the day-to-day. There is a constant movement of becoming that comes in the way of experiencing the now.
A few studies coming from the sports industry show that those who visualise tend to have better results than those who don’t, and it could well be the case. Apparently nerves and part of the brain cannot tell the difference between what we visualise actively and what we experience. But I think there is a danger in concluding that we can magically make things materialise by powerfully wishing them.
Sending messages to the unconscious can provide results, but in the long term, I believe it can backfire. If we constantly try to convince ourselves that we are good at something, it may help us make some progress, reprogram negative thoughts and feel more confident, but the flip side is that we will become proficient at deluding ourselves. Our mind movie will play one thing, and the world will show us something entirely different.
The greater the gap between reality and our mind movie, the more likely we are going to be in conflict and disappointed. Attempts to reconcile the two may involve distorting reality and putting on blinkers. More importantly, being absorbed in our mind movie is likely to disconnect us from the beauty and the magic of the moment.
One sentence journal – day 2:
“Feelings of inadequacy, led to a mild internal conflict, which in turn exhausted me… until I had the opportunity to be listened to and to listen in return.”
This blog is part of a renewed 42-day writing challenge inspired by Leo Babauta’s Zen Habits Book.
Photo: Lloyds Dirks